Wollongong City’s last video store is preparing to close down after 30 years and three weeks.
And Ezy Interactive manager Damien Noonan said it’s quite clear that the times, they have a-changed.
The rise of video-on-demand via a range of online streaming services led by Netflix has changed the entertainment industry forever.
The store will close on July 30 and until then is having a clearance sale with about 40,000 discs.
Dan Noonan, Damien’s brother, started the store as Hollywood Boulevard on Flinders St, Wollongong, on July 10, 1987 – before mobile phones were common, before the internet took off.
Back then VHS videos and computer games were like “legal tender”, he remembered. “We would have lines of 40 or 50 people at the counter on a Friday or Saturday night,” Dan said.
He said there was plenty of emotion about the store closing – and what it means.
“It’s more a touch of nostalgia and almost like remembrance of what time used to be like,” he said.
“We would still be able to survive and thrive if we could just cater to the movie buff, the connoisseur of film, because that’s what the library was built around. We made 80 per cent of our dollars from our non-new release product. Our library was built around categories that weren’t mainstream.
“You can’t keep pace with technology when the modern-day tech-savvy person can just access things so quickly.
“But it was a good run for 30 years, and it’s very, very sad to say goodbye.”
The Mercury gave Dan the difficult task of naming his favourite five films and TV series. He managed, but had to chop a few at the last minute: Annie Hall, Good Will Hunting, The Wire.
For Ezy Interactive, the streaming revolution coincided with moving from an iconic location (as Video Ezy at Gilligan’s Island roundabout), to the less familiar or visible 66 Keira St.
Ezy interactive joins Top Video Coledale and the Woonona Video Ezy as shopfront outlets which have closed down recently.
The closest video store to Wollongong is now Video Ezy at Figtree – then it’s out to Corrimal, Warrawong, Thirroul and Shellharbour.